Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

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23437156.jpgTitle: Six of Crows
Author: Leigh Bardugo
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Format: Hardcover
Goodreads Synopsis:
Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price—and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Kaz’s crew are the only ones who might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.

5STARRATINGBNM


“He grinned at her, his smile sudden and jarring as a thunderclap, his eyes the near-black of bitter coffee. “We’ll be kings and queens, Inej. Kings and queens.”

I keep asking myself why I put off reading this book for so long. It was fantastic. Six of Crows is the perfect example of why I love fantasy as much as I do. It was everything I hope for in a great fantasy book – incredible world building, intrigue inducing backstory, complex and memorable characters, and most important completely and utterly gripping to the point where you don’t want to put it down for anything.

“-that was the Ketterdam she loved, empty and quiet, high above the crowds, a moonlit mountain range of gabled peaks and off kilter chimneys.”

I was a huge fan of Leigh Bardugo’s Grisha trilogy – the whole world she built in those books is a book world I think about often for how magical it was as well as how terrifying. It is such a complex and beautifully crafted book world with layer upon layer of histories and cultures with a unique magic system that isn’t so much considered a magic but rather a science. It’s unforgettable and one of the biggest reasons I picked up Six of Crows, I wanted to dive back into that world. While Six of Crows is set in the same world as her trilogy it’s also very different. Six of Crows is set several years after the events of the trilogy, it is set in a different part of the Grisha universe, and most importantly we’re introduced to a whole new cast of characters. Six of Crows at its core has absolutely nothing in common with the trilogy besides the world and magic system (and the magic system is focused on in an entirely different way). So, if you’re wondering if you can go into this one without reading the trilogy then yes you can.

“Wolves, dragons, what was next? In Ravkan stories, monsters waited to be woken by the call of heroes. Well, she thought, we’re certainly not heroes. Let’s hope this one stays asleep.”

Six of Crows was also everything I didn’t know I wanted in a fantasy novel. A lot of people are big on villains, I’ve never been partial to them. And while I wouldn’t consider this cast of characters villains per say I would consider them ‘anti-heroes’ as they are criminals. We have a set of characters that mostly deal in gangs, pick-pocketing, gambling, thievery, and spying who are chosen to do the impossible – break into the Ice Court which has never been successfully breached to rescue a scientist that has created a drug to use on Grisha that could ultimately destroy the world. Why do they do it? For the money of course. Do they succeed? You’ll have to read to find out.

“A gambler, a convict, a wayward son, a lost Grisha, a Suli girl who has become a killer, a boy from the Barrel who had become something worse.”

Besides the world building, my favorite thing about Six of Crows was the characters – we have six main characters. I’m not usually one who can get into books with so many perspectives, but for this one it worked so well and really added something to the story. Leigh Bardugo crafted these beautifully diverse and unique characters that are also very flawed. She writes them in a way, however, to where, despite their flaws, you can’t help but fall in love with each and every one of them.

Kaz, Inej, Nina, Jesper, Matthias, and Waylan are all so complex and have the depth that I want and expect from characters in a fantasy novel. I love them and don’t think I’ll ever forget them.

“Kaz leaned back. “What’s the easiest way to steal a man’s wallet?”

“Knife to the throat?” asked Inej.

“Gun to the back?” said Jesper.

“Poison in his cup?” suggested Nina.

“You’re all horrible,” said Matthias.

Our wonderfully secretive leader is Kaz (aka Dirtyhands) who is a character that not only is a master schemer, thief, and feared by most but also has a disability.

Inej (aka the Wraith and my favorite) is the perfect spy and a badass female POC. Literally, Inej has taken over my top favorite female character spot.

Nina is a Grisha, a Heartrender to be specific, and I really admired the fact that she is completely herself and also as badass as Inej. Seriously, the females outrank the males in this book in my opinion.

Jesper is a hilarious character who I felt more often than not was the comedic relief but at the same time he holds his own secret, is known as a sharpshooter, and has a fondness for gambling.

I feel like Matthias and Waylan are so closely ingrained into the story that to go into either of them would be spoiler central. Just know, you’ll fall in love with both of them as well.

“Nina,” Matthias said softly, “he’s just a kid. He’s one of us.”

One of us. A boy not much younger than she was, caught up in a war he hadn’t chosen for himself.

A survivor.”

Each of the above characters also has really heartbreaking backstories. I won’t go into detail because the reveal of each character is spanned over the course of the book but just know that if you’re a crier you might want tissues.

Something else that I really enjoyed was the fact that there were romantic hints but there wasn’t any actual romance. It’s almost as if Leigh Bardugo dangles the possibility and then snatches it away. I loved the hint of there being more between certain characters but loved, even more, the fact that it wasn’t focused on too much.

“No mourners. No funerals.”

Six of Crows is so unique and I’ve honestly never read anything else like it. I even feel like it was better than the Grisha trilogy. Leigh Bardugo’s writing was incredible in the trilogy but has gotten even better in this. If you’re looking for a fast-paced, gripping, and unique fantasy to dive head first into then look no further because this book is the book for you. It has a shocker of an ending that will have you instantly wanting to read the sequel. I highly recommend it!


You can purchase this book on: Amazon, B&N, Book Depository, iBooks, Google Play, Kobo, or you can check it out at your local library!


Have you read Six of Crows? What did you think of it? If not, do you want to read it?

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41 thoughts on “Review: Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

  1. lovely review 🙂
    Glad you enjoyed six of crows. I keep hearing only good things and I need to read it as soon as possible. The reading slump is not helping me get through the books I’m currently reading. I just hope to read it before the year ends.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review!😃 I really want to read this book as well, but I’m stuck in a reading slump and can’t find any time to read any hard copy books! Makes me so mad, but I’m gonna try to get out of it! 😅

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was such an incredible book! And I completely agree. Leigh Bardugo has a way with world building and characters. I’ve heard the same too and I can’t wait to read it. I’m waiting until next month so I can buddy read with two other bloggers. 😊

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  3. Wonderful review! I’m so glad you loved it and that we’re doing the buddy read next month of Crooked Kingdom with Lilly. 🙂 Kaz is my new book boyfriend. Love him. 😍 I still have another 300 pages until I finish this book. I’m trying to read some more right now before bed. It’s such an awesome book and so unique. It’s unlike anything I’ve ever read. I totally agree. I’m loving everything about the book. 🙂

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    • Thank you Jill! ♥️😊
      Me too! I can’t wait for our buddy read. I have a feeling we’re all going to be freaking out and loving it haha. It’s going to be fun. 😊
      Same! Kaz is the kind of book boyfriend I didn’t know I needed. 😍
      It really is. I love everything Leigh Bardugo did with it and I don’t think anything will ever top the complete uniqueness of the world or characters for me. She’s giving me higher expectations for fantasy that’s for sure 😂.
      I hope you enjoy the rest of it and I can’t wait to see your review. 😄

      Liked by 1 person

      • There will be lots of freaking out! We’ll have tons of OMGs and LOLs and heart face emojis while reading. Haha! 😜 I feel the same way about Kaz. ❤️ I love him. 😍 He reminds me of Jorg from Prince of Thorns. I like that her books don’t just appeal to YA fans and that I can recommend this to people who like adult fantasy as well. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • YES! I can’t wait! I’ll be throwing in a ton of 😭 faces into the mix because we all know Leigh Bardugo is bound to break our hearts in some way. Same! And I so need to check out those books because I saw the synopsis on your blog and it seemed interesting. I like that too. 😊

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  4. This is a great review Melissa, and you’ve really made me want to go back and re-read this book before starting on Crooked Kingdom! I love the world-building; and as much as I love the Grisha series as well I much prefer the Six of Crows series because it was a little darker, both in terms of the world building and the characters, but also because it felt more fast paced. Plus I connect to the characters more in Six of Crows than I did in the Grisha trilogy. I think Kaz is my favourite, though it’s hard to choose just one. I love the relationship between him and Inej and, oh, I am so so excited to get started on the next book it feels unreal! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Beth! ♥
      It was such a good book! The perfect one for me to hop back on the fantasy train with. I agree with you about this one versus the Grisha trilogy – I loved how it was a darker story as whole and it being fast paced helped to pull me in that much more. I definitely connected with the characters more as well. I remember reading the trilogy and it feeling a bit slower and I was more into the story while I read that rather than the characters. I don’t even remember half of them to be honest but with SoC I don’t think I’ll ever forget the characters. My favorite is Inej. I automatically loved her and connected to her character.I really loved Kaz as well though (new book boyfriend 🙈) and loved the relationship between him and Inej too. I hope you enjoy it! I’ve heard it’s even more incredible than this one. I’m buddy reading it with Jill and Lilly in November so I have to wait a bit longer but I’m excited about it. 😃

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s all right ❤
        Oh I agree, if I hadn't already read this book I would have used it to jump back into fantasy because it's just a favourite of mine. I think you can see in this one as well where Leigh Bardugo's writing style has improved as she's released more books. I am so excited to get around to Crooked Kingdom.
        There was so much history in Six of Crows wasn't there. It felt like we were able to connect to the characters more than we were in The Grisha trilogy, especially as the story was told through all their POVs not just one persons like in The Grisha books.
        Kaz and Inej were just my favourites, I really really want a happy ending for both of them but I'm not sure how that can be done, still I'm hoping! 🙂
        I hope you enjoy it as well, and I reckon it will be worth the wait when you do get around to it! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

      • Definitely! I have my mom reading the trilogy at the moment and looking back at those while reading this I could see how much her writing has improved.
        There really was! And I completely agree. I’m usually thrown off by so many POVs but it worked so well for this and helped me connect with the book that much more. I’m so glad she did it that way.
        I want the same! I feel like they deserve it so much. Especially after Kaz’s backstory and everything Inej went through. Truthfully all the characters deserve happy endings. We’ll see if that happens though. I’m preparing my heart 😭.
        I hope so too! 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      • It’s the same with any author isn’t it, the more books they release the more they learn about writing and the more they improve I guess.
        I usually am as well, just because I feel with so many POVs you normally get a couple of characters who aren’t as well developed, but luckily that wasn’t the case with Six of Crows!
        I’m preparing myself for a heartbreaking and devastating ending but I know I’ll never be fully prepared for whatever happens! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • True! I definitely love seeing how an author’s writing evolves over time.
        Same. It does have a lot to do with development but I also feel like with a lot of POVs there is that chance that the plot can get a bit lost within the switching between characters. With this one it felt like it only furthered it along. I’m really glad that wasn’t the case with SoC as well.
        That’s true. We never can fully prepare our hearts for books, can we? It’ll hurt either way. 😂

        Liked by 1 person

  5. As always, great review!! I definitely didn’t have the same experience when reading ‘Six of Crows’. I wasn’t impressed by it as others were but I reread it in preparation for ‘Crooked Kingdom’ and funny enough I enjoyed it more the second time around😆

    I think you explained the ships/romance perfectly. Leigh Bardugo does dangle it in front of our noses then rudely snatches it away😂 I love it! It’s what makes her a great fantasy writer. Romance and Fantasy aren’t equal and it’s the best thing ever! Are you reading ‘Crooked Kingdom’ now?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! ♥
      Well I’m glad you enjoyed it more the second time around 😊.
      It really does. I’m a big romance fan, I enjoy whenever books have it. But at the same time I don’t like to shoved all up in the plot to where it takes over. She put the perfect amount in this that went we with the plot and didn’t take over. Not yet. I’m doing a buddy read with two other bloggers in November so I’m waiting until then 😊.

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      • Yea me too! 😆 I’m the same when it comes to romance. I love love LOVE it when romance is incorporated to the story but minimal romance works for me too. ‘Six of Crows’ did a fabulous job in that department. I’m so excited to read about Nina and Matthias in ‘Crooked Kingdom’ 😍😍

        Oh that’s fun!! That’s a great idea; can’t wait for that! Happy reading, Melissa!! 💕

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Your review is really in-depth! 😊 Excellent by the way. I also liked Inej & Nina. Kaz’s life story is heart wrenching so I feel hurt for him rather than swoon over him hehe but I do like that he’s so clever!

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  7. […] These two right here, I love them. This is more than just recommending one of my favorite books through my favorite female characters but also through my favorite female friendship. Inej is someone who has been through a lot of terrible things in her life and yet she retains this hopeful outlook and this determination to one day make it so that no one else goes through what she went through. Nina is someone who is so outspoken and straightforward, she’s not afraid to speak her mind and I loved that about her. As Inej is more reserved than Nina I feel like the differences in their personalities is what made their friendship so great. You can check out my review for Six of Crows here. […]

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